Get Up Speak Out! (GUSO)

Get Up Speak Out! (GUSO)

Youth-led networks lead change – achievements of 2019

Young people in Mozambique who established a joint platform to align their advocacy actions. Revision of organisational policies for the young people living with HIV network in Zimbabwe. Just a few results of how youth networks got prepared to voice their rights. However few organisations actually engage with young people. For many years Aidsfonds supports young people networks to be geared up to tackle challenges. What has been achieved in 2019? Let’s look into the successes of three youth-led networks we supported in Mozambique, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

The purpose of youth networks

Stigma and discrimination, unfriendly service providers and age related restrictions to access HIV services independently. These are just a few of the challenges young people living with HIV have to deal with.

Young people living with HIV organise themselves in networks and community-based movements. Apart from providing a safe space and necessary peer support networks serve as a mechanism to advocate against stigma and discrimination and better service provision and support for young people living with HIV.

By investing in strengthening networks, they will be able to advocate for their rights by enhancing capacity and facilitating meaningful youth participation in national and international platforms.

Three achievements in 2019 that change lives of young people

Mozambique – Establishing a new platform to facilitate advocacy

In collaboration with REPSSI, we created a new platform in which local young people living with HIV organisations join forces to shape and organise their advocacy. After a mapping study, we brought together representatives of these organisations for a workshop to draft joint advocacy priorities. As a result of this workshop young people decided to establish a joint advocacy platform to align their advocacy actions. REPSSI supports the platform and empowers young people to engage in national advocacy processes and mechanisms.

Valdimar Osvaldo António, PITCH Y+ coordinator at REPSSI: "This new platform gives young people living with HIV a voice in decision-making processes critical to their future. It also creates the opportunity to connect with each other, leading to a strong movement."

 

Kenya – Letting young people living with HIV organisations join forces

In 2018 we supported the establishment of Y+ Kenya, a network of five young people living with HIV organisations. Y+ had their first general assembly in 2019 in which a board was appointed. They also took first steps to becoming registered. Their voice was already taken serious after around 40 young people living with HIV in Nairobi were given expired ARVs and they successfully advocated for in-date treatment.

That was the first time I felt I could actually do this. It was the first time I felt I could make a difference

- Cindy Amaiza, National coordinator of Y+ Kenya

 

Zimbabwe – Strengthening the capacity of Zimbabwe Young Positives

Zimbabwe Young Positives’ (ZY+) capacity is being strengthened since 2017. After official registration in 2018 we continued, with support of a legal consultant, on strengthening organisational structures. In 2019, new board members were appointed with a variety of skills. These board members have been involved in the review and revision of organisational policies. ZY+ is currently hosted by ZNNP+; these steps help them to eventually become independent.

 

What does 2020 have in store for them?

The three youth networks are full of plans for 2020 and dedicated to continue voicing the needs of young people’s needs. Stay in tune with their latest news on Twitter:

@REPSSI

@ypluskenya

@zimyungpos

This article was published in the Aidsfonds Young People & HIV e-news Feb 2020 edition. Do you want to receive this newsletter in the future? Sign up

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